News Rohan Glynn with his two Dalmations and German Pointer

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure for a big surprise – especially if you have dogs.

On the ascent: Brae Hill (blue cap) wins the Lincoln from Mull Of Killough

Brae Hill clings on to land first Lincoln for Fahey

Before the Lincoln Handicap, the first leg of the traditional spring double, was run here yesterday, bookmakers were already in pocket over the second, the Grand National. And a day that began badly for punters with the defection of the well-backed ante-post Aintree favourite, Prince De Beauchene, carried on in similar vein. The first winner of the domestic turf season, Norse Blues, started at 50-1 and the Lincoln went to 25-1 shot Brae Hill.

Mickael Barzalona celebrates

Barzalona has the world at his feet after Dubai success

Frenchman's latest big-race victory seals his place as the successor to Dettori at Godolphin

Reay: he directed specially treated blood bags to be dropped on Port Stanley

Lieutenant General Sir Alan Reay: Soldier who fought cutbacks

Not a drop was spilt of the blood parachuted down on to Port Stanley during the Falklands War in 1982 by Sir Alan Reay's Army Medical Services, but at home his personal rearguard action against a thousand cuts was to end a heroic failure.

Cattle virus hits nine more farms

Nine more farms in England have been hit by the Schmallenberg virus, the midge-borne livestock infection that can cause birth deformities in lambs and calves.

Trainer Paul Nicholls (far right) looks on as head lad Clifford Baker and groom Rose Loxton parade King George VI Chase winner Kauto Star around his home village of Ditcheat yesterday

Kauto Star '50-50' for Gold Cup

Kauto Star is only "50-50" to make the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup after a fall when schooling last week, according to trainer Paul Nicholls.

Poisonous snakes found in luggage at Buenos Aires airport 

A man tried to board a plane in Argentina with almost 250 poisonous snakes and endangered reptiles in his baggage, each meticulously labelled with its Latin name.

Anger as badger culling given go-ahead for next year

Animal welfare campaigners say they will challenge badger culling in England after trials were given the go-ahead by the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman.

Derek Pain: Composter is down in the dumps but vet firm has legs

It's about time I reinforced the no pain, no gain portfolio. I have decided to recruit two contrasting shares – one down in the dumps, the other riding relatively high. They are both small caps that, I hope, will not be too troubled by the recessionary climate and could, with a little luck, emerge as valuable constituents.

Storie-Pugh: Dapper, with great energy and a charismatic personality

Dr Peter Storie-Pugh: Colditz prisoner who became a leading veterinary surgeon

There's a photograph in the small museum at Colditz Castle, Germany, which shows three prisoners after their failed attempt to escape from that notorious Second World War prison for Allied officers. In the centre, with a broad grin on his face, is a young Peter Storie-Pugh. He had been incarcerated since 1940, having been wounded and earning a Military Cross during the retreat to Dunkirk; he was captured, sent to Spangenberg prisoner-of-war camp, escaped, was recaptured and sent to Colditz. He remained there until the end of the war.

Professor William Jarrett: Celebrated veterinary scientist

When William Weipers was appointed director of the Glasgow veterinary school on its absorption into Glasgow University in 1949 he recruited a team of bright young graduates who earned Glasgow a unique place in the scientific spectrum. One of this group was William Fleming Jarrett. Jarrett, universally known as Bill, went on to establish an international reputation for his work on the viruses causing cancer – work that led to major developments in the treatment of the disease in animals and humans. He was instrumental in developing the research that identified the viruses causing leukaemia and Aids.

Zoo slaughter puts lax ownership laws in activists' sights

The deaths of nearly 50 wild animals, freed by their owner who then killed himself, spotlights flaws in US legislation

Scandal of the private zoo that ended in slaughter

Their owner freed them moments before his suicide. Now the hunting of scores of wild animals has shocked Ohio and America

Mental illness care 'close to a revolution'

A revolution in the treatment of psychiatric disorders involving the use of video games, brain surgery, new forms of therapy and drugs will transform the care of the mentally ill in the coming decades, America's leading expert in the field has said.

Zoology

Avian flu's back, warns UN – and new strain is resistant to vaccines

Fears of a fresh outbreak of bird flu this winter have been raised by the United Nations, after an increase in the number of deaths and, crucially, the emergence of a new, mutated strain of the disease.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system